Former Vice President Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democrat nominee, told donors Wednesday afternoon that his campaign is mobilizing a team to help pick his running mate. “We are putting in place, which we can do with abandon now, a mechanism to be able to vet the vice presidential potential picks,” Biden said, when asked if he's going to be announcing his running mate after the last primary in June. On Wednesday morning, Bernie Sanders, Biden's only remaining rival for the Democratic nomination, ended his presidential bid.
Federal agencies are concerned that domestic extremists could use the coronavirus pandemic to attack Asians and Jews, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. That bulletin mirrors what organizations that monitor online hate content are also finding. The bulletin, a joint effort of the Department of Justice, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security, is dated April 7.
One doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at a New York-area hospital says there's no reason to believe it would work. Marik acknowledged that the World Health Organization has advised against the use of corticosteroids to treat viral pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 (except in clinical trials) citing previous studies on other viral diseases like SARS and MERS, which found insufficient evidence that the drugs were effective. But Marik's view encapsulates a growing suspicion among doctors treating COVID-19 that the disease has some novel features that may require a unique approach.
A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan's leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island.
Throughout Tuesday night's primetime stretch, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were in lockstep in telegraphing to Trump a message that the pandemic's threat has been overstated, death counts have been inflated, and the U.S. is already on the downside of the curve. Carlson, who received mainstream plaudits for his “admirable” early coronavirus coverage, kicked off his show by declaring that the crisis “may have passed,” noting that health-care systems across the country haven't come close to collapsing—“except in a handful of places. Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” he asserted.
Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Wednesday labeled President Trump a 'drug-pusher' for continually touting hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus. “The president keeps taking the stage and as opposed to what Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and medical health professionals are telling us, pushing this drug,” Harris said on The View. “He's got to stop — he's not — we don't want a drug pusher for president.”
A Texas teenager who police said announced on social media she would intentionally spread the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat. Police in Carrollton, near Dallas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, late Tuesday morning after arranging her surrender to the city jail. "Maradiaga has stated that she is COVID-19 negative, and we currently have no proof that Maradiaga has tested positive," Carrollton police said in a statement.
The novel coronavirus began spreading in New York City in February, before widespread testing began, and the strain so far identified in local samples came from Europe, a scientist said Wednesday. Adriana Heguy, a geneticist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine who led the research, told AFP that tracing back the virus' chain of transmission will help policy makers make better informed social interventions in the future. "It's very interesting that so far, the majority seem to be coming from Europe, and this is in part I think because there was a focus on stopping travel from China," she said.
Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus. The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. Moscow, the worst-affected region, and many other regions are in their second week of a partial lockdown.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says he is considering using the teleconferencing software Zoom to hold hearings into foreign election interference and other key issues, including the firing of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, while social distancing restrictions remain in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I think we can and I think that we will, but they may take the form of a virtual hearing — where we will do essentially a Zoom hearing,” said Schiff in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” when asked how his panel will conduct oversight hearings in the current environment. Schiff's comments are the latest indication of how the pandemic is disrupting the normal functioning of government, causing lawmakers to adjust to a world where they can't congregate in public or question witnesses in person in order to conduct routine oversight.
Hospitals in seven states say the federal government has been quietly seizing medical supply orders amid the coronavirus crisis, a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed April 7. Officials and staff at the hospitals told the newspaper they never received guidance on why the materials were taken, where they went, or when they can expect replacement orders. A FEMA representative told the newspaper that "high-transmission areas were prioritized, and allocations were based on population, not on quantities requested."
Ashita S. Batavia, MD, MSc, is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist and public health expert with extensive experience in treating epidemics. In my state, New York, our hospital systems are being strained in unprecedented ways. As a frontline infectious diseases doctor, this is what I want my friends and neighbors to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the emergency room.
News updates on coronavirus in Africa Coronavirus live tracker Whipping, shooting and snooping during Africa lockdowns Earlier this week, an African Union report said that nearly 20 million jobs on the continent "are threatened with destruction". There are currently more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa. South Africa, one of the continent's largest economies, has been the worst hit and is about to enter the third week of a strict lockdown.
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called for the American economy to quickly reopen amid downward revisions of some models projecting the coronavirus death count, saying Thursday that a now-expected 60,000 victims shows just “how good we are doing.” With one influential and highly respected modeler moving its projections down over the past few days, Fox News hosts have been clamoring for President Donald Trump to quickly reverse social-distancing restrictions in order to jumpstart the economy, claiming public health experts exaggerated the impact of the virus. Noting that Trump had originally expressed hope that the country could get going again at Easter, Kilmeade said that one model shows that the peak of the coronavirus infections will now come around that time.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
Pope Francis on Holy Thursday hailed priests and medical staff who tend to the needs of COVID-19 patients as “the saints next door.” Francis celebrated the Holy Week evening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, which was kept off-limits to the public because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus. The pope began his off-the-cuff homily by honoring the memory of priests who gave their lives in service to others, singling out those who died after tending to sick people in Italy's hospitals.
Vice President Mike Pence has blocked Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, as well as other top U.S. health officials, from appearing on CNN following the network's decision to not air the White House coronavirus press briefings in full. “When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,” a spokesman for the vice president told CNN. Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Pence, have been giving daily briefings to the press for several weeks after rising numbers of Americans have been infected.
Taiwan on Thursday angrily condemned accusations from the World Health Organization's (WHO) boss that racist slurs against him had come from the island, saying racism did not exist in Taiwan. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, due to objections from China which claims the island as its own, has infuriated the Taipei government during the coronavirus outbreak. Taiwan says it has been unable to get timely information and that Taiwanese lives have become political pawns.
Pakistan's army said Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. According to a statement from the army media wing, the Indian quadcopter -- about the same size as a commercially available hobby drone -- had crossed 600 metres (650 yards) over the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC). "This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter," the statement read.
Senators will either have to return to Washington or get negotiating to get the next round of coronavirus relief funding flowing. With just four senators in the chamber on Thursday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) blocked a unanimous voice vote in favor of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's $250 billion small business loans bill. Cardin called the bill a "political stunt," and reflected congressional Democrats' demands for great accountability and diversity in how the bill would be spent.
Authorities in Wuhan, China, reported 41 cases of an mysterious, pneumonialike respiratory illness to the World Health Organization on December 31. Most were linked to a local wet market. A new study suggests that community transmission of the coronavirus in Wuhan was going on in early January, unrelated to the wet market.
Charlotte Figi, whose life-long battle with a rare seizure disorder led to medical marijuana reform, died Tuesday after members of her family contracted an unspecified "virus," according to a post on her mother's Facebook page. Figi was 13 years old. It is with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that Charlotte Figi passed away yesterday.
Biden is boosted by self-identified independent voters, who support him over Trump 44%-35% It's a slightly tighter race than when a Quinnipiac Poll in March found Biden ahead of Trump, 52% to 41%. The small shift comes as Trump's job approval rating has increased from 41% to 45% amid the coronavirus outbreak. "It is a small bump, but we're seeing not a huge change though overall in this race," said Mary Snow, a polling analyst Quinnipiac, attributing the movement to the "rally around the flag" effect during the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus death count in New York City, already unfathomable, is expected to surge in the coming days as officials begin including people who have been dropping dead at home without an official diagnosis. Emergency Medical Service data first reported by Gothamist suggests the undercount of individuals who have likely died from the virus is massive. Until this month, about 25 people in New York City were found dead in their homes on a typical day, suggesting that most of Tuesday's calls were related to the outbreak that has already killed over 5,400 people across the state and infected 140,386 more.
A truck driver accused in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found inside a refrigerated container that had been hauled to England pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday. Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, entered the plea at Central London Criminal Court. Police investigating the case found the 31 male and eight female victims were all from Vietnam and ranged in age from 15 to 44, including 10 teenagers.